Home > Resources > Private: Civil legal resources > Civil claims against the police and public authorities

Civil claims against the police and public authorities

Some of the legislation

Police (Complaints and Conduct) Act 2012
Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders 2012
Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005
Police Complaints and Misconduct Regulations 2004 (original text only)
Police Reform Act 2002
Human Rights Act 1998
Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984

Some of our recent notable cases

Detention Action v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2014)
Significant successful challenge to the operation of the Detained Fast Track procedure. Found that the unjustifiable delay in providing lawyers to people in detention means the process carries a “unacceptable risk of unfairness”.
[2014] EWHC 2245 (Admin)   9/7/2014
Stephanie Harrison QC and Michelle Brewer

Alanov v Chief Constable of Sussex Police (2012)
Although a police officer suspected that the appellant was guilty of an alleged offence, objectively that suspicion was not based on reasonable grounds and therefore his arrest was unlawful.
[2012] EWCA Civ 234  1/3/2012
Stephen Simblet

Paluello v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (2011)
The Commissioner of Police was liable for assault and was ordered to pay damages in excess of £14,000 after a protestor suffered injuries at the hands of the police at a demonstration near the Israeli Embassy in London.
[2011] EWHC 3411 16/12/11
Stephen Simblet

Hayes v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police (2011)
The principal issue was what is required of a police officer when considering the necessity criteria in s24 of PACE. Changes in the law that affect the powers of arrest had not previously been considered by the Court of Appeal. The Court found that a police officer is not required to inject a ‘public law test’ into the decision to arrest and so the arrest in the instant case had been lawful.
[2011] EWCA Civ 911 29/7/2011. Reported at [2011] All ER (D) 286 (Jul)
Henry Blaxland QC & Sarah Hemingway

Clifford v Hertfordshire Police (2011) (no link available)
Held that not only had the defendant’s police officer had no honest belief in child pornography charges he had caused to be brought against the claimant, but he had done so for an improper reason.
[2011] EWHC 815 1/4/2011
Leslie Thomas

Jonathan Pannell v Chief Constable of Surrey Police (2011) (no link available)
Successfully acted for Jonathan Pannell who suffered injuries when he was punched to the face three times with full force by a police officer in March 2002. He received £40,000 in damages for false imprisonment, assault and malicious prosecution.
Guildford Crown Court 15/2/2011
Leslie Thomas & Sarah Hemingway

The Queen (on the application of The Equality & Human Rights Commission) and The Secretary of State for Justice The Secretary of State for the Home Department (2010)
NOMS failure to have due regard to the requirements in section 71 of The Race Relations Act 1976 and section 49A of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 prior to a change in policy affecting certain foreign national prisoners.
[2010] EWHC 147 (Admin) 17/2/2010
Stephanie Harrison & Kirsten Heaven

Raissi v Metropolitan Police Commission (2007)
Successful claim for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment by suspect arrested purely on basis of being the brother of a terrorist suspect.
[2007] EWHC 2842 30/11/2007.
Leslie Thomas

Keegan v United Kingdom (2006)
Obtaining compensation from ECHR for breach of Article 8 and Article 13 following police search
[2006] ECHR 764 18/7/06. Application No. 28867/03. Reported at Times, 9 Aug, 2006.
Stephen Simblet

Chief Constable of Merseyside v Ali Daar (2005)
Preventing police striking out claim against police on basis that claimant had received ASBO
[2005] EWCA 1774 13/12/05. Reported at [2005] 1 Pol LR 376
Stephen Simblet

Simms (Angela Fay) v Chief Constable of the West Yorkshire Police (2005) (no link)
Civil claim for damages for wrongful arrest
[2005] EWCA Civ 1154 15/7/05
Jan Luba QC

R (app Clare) v Independent Police Complaints Commission (2005)
Establishing that IPCC is permitted to withdraw a dispensation from requirement to investigate complaint
[2005] EWHC 1108 (Admin) 15/4/05. Reported at [2005] 1 Pol LR 185
Stephen Simblet

R (application of Wilkinson) v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police (2004)
Quashing a police force’s refusal to conduct an investigation into a complaint
[2004] EWHC 678 Admin 19/3/04 Reported at [2004] 1 Pol LR 189
Stephen Simblet

Paul v Chief Constable of Humberside Police (2004)
Establishing that claims for damages against the police will often depend on inferences being drawn against police evidence
[2004] EWCA Civ 308. 17/3/04. Reported at [2004] 1 Pol LR 179
Stephen Simblet

Larrier v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police (2004)
Removing issues from the jury in claims against the police
[2004] EWCA Civ 46 25/2/04
Rajeev Thacker

Keegan v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police (2003)
Appeal raising ambit of tort of malicious procurement of search warrant in circumstances where no human rights claim could be brought
[2003] EWCA Civ 936 3/7/03. Reported at [2003] 1 WLR 2187
Stephen Simblet

Useful links

Bhatt Murphy’s Police Misconduct pages
Association of Chief Police Officers
Liberty Police Complaints Guidance
Independent Police Complaints Commission
UK Police Services Portal
United Friends and Family campaign (bringing together families of those who have died in police custody)
Police Reform Unit